FTW97LA034
FTW97LA034

On November 2, 1996, approximately 0930 mountain standard time, a Bell 206L-3, N937R, registered to Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company (a subsidiary of US West), was substantially damaged during takeoff from a landing zone near Mancos, Colorado. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local business flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, the helicopter was facing west on the 15 feet x 30 feet landing zone. The wind was from the south approximately 5 to 10 knots. The pilot lifted the helicopter to a 5 foot hover, then made a left pedal turn to face into the wind. He then heard a loud noise and felt a vibration through the pedals. The pilot made a "hovering autorotation," landed, and shut down the engine. Inspection disclosed the tail rotor had struck a nearby windsock.

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